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SAT & ACT Essay Writing Tips

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Frequently, the student will be required to write an essay for their ACT/SAT test. It must be noted that the student is only given 30 minutes to write the essay in the ACT and only 25 minutes to write it in the SAT. Evidently this is not a proper amount of time to write a life changing essay; rather, the student should aim to write a standard essay that follows all of the proper English writing conventions.  For some key aspects and tips regarding the essay, the student should consider the following.

Consider the Issue Carefully

The writing prompt is there to help the student generate ideas and understand the issue; they should read it carefully. The student is usually required to pick a side on the issue and write their essay to persuade for that side. To determine which side to take, the student should consider: their past experiences, previously read literature and/or their academic studies.

Planning is Everything

Students tend to jump straight into the writing before anything else. This is not ideal because this usually leads to off-topic writing. After deciding what side they are on, the student should plan their essay. In other words, they should take 5-10 minutes to decide what their three points (supporting their position on the topic) are going to be and what relevant evidence they will incorporate (remembering to consider past experience, literature and/or studies to guide the decision). After this is finalized, the student should proceed to the writing aspect, designating one body paragraph to each point.

Concision is Everything Else

To ensure maximum concision, the student should consider starting each paragraph off with a topic sentence. This sentence is simply an assertion of one of the points earlier discovered. While writing the paragraph, the student must ensure that each sentence relates back to that topic sentence. In other words, it may be beneficial for the student to literally ask themselves how each sentence relates back to the topic sentence. This will guarantee that none of their writing is off-topic.

Test Prep Academy is the premier SAT/ACT services company for high school students. We offer instructional programs and curriculum for students preparing for the PSAT,  ACT, and SAT.

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